On this Kamchatka cruise, venture into the forgotten landscape of the Kamchatka and Chukotka coasts, into the sublime natural beauty of untouched landscapes and abundant wildlife! As the Kamchatka coastline has been largely uninfluenced by human interaction for years, natural habitats and colonies of birds, seals, foxes, bears, and marine life have been able to flourish in the region.
It is also home to many indigenous peoples such as the Itelmen, Even, Chukchi, and Koryak, whose cultures you can experience on this Kamchatka cruise.
Spirit of Enderby
Type of tour
14 days / 13 nights
up to 50 people
The Kamchatka cruise begins at the capital of the Kamchatka region, Petropavlovsk- Kamchatskiy, where you will promptly board the luxurious Spirit of Enderby. We encourage you to arrive a few days earlier so that you can take advantage of the rich natural and cultural attractions of the area such at the Valley of the Geysers.
Begin the excitement by boarding your first Zodiac for a cruise on the Zhupanova River. Our object of desire will be the Steller’s Sea Eagle which nests close to the river. There is also an opportunity to observe Largha seals stretched out on sandbars, and waterfowl and waders parading around them. As the river plays a pivotal role in the salmon industry, we hope to show you a local fishing camp.
By the afternoon we should be advancing towards the Commander Islands, ripe with opportunity to spot the Laysan Albatross, Mottled Petrel and the Fork- Tailed Storm- Petrel. As we navigate the Kamchatka Trench be on the look out for majestic Blue Whales.
Accidentally discovered in 1741 by Commander Vitus Bering, the Commander Islands are bursting at the seams with natural beauty and rare wildlife. On this Kamchatka cruise we will venture through the islands by a combination of zodiac missions and landings. Stopping first at the Nikolskoye village we will visit one of the only exhibits of the skeleton of the extinct Stella’s Sea Cow. From here we will take zodiacs in search of the Red-face Cormorant, Red- legged Kittiwake, Horned Puffin, Parakeet, Pigeon Guillemot, Crested and Whiskered Auklets and Sea Otters.
Cruising the southern contours of Bering Island, we will navigate the waters in search of the Humpback, Northern Minke, Sperm, Orcas, and Baird’s Beaked Whales. Weather permitting, we will land at one of many thrilling sites near Commander Bay and Medny Island where Vitus Bering’s ship was wrecked.
Karaginsky island is one of the uninhabited islands on Kamchatka’s east coast, making it a haven for wildlife because of its varied and untouched habitats. Strategically landing in tundra and ponds, we will be in prime position to view a variety of waders including the Pacific Golden Plover, Red-necked Phalarope, Red-necked Stint and Bluethroat and Pallas’ Reed Bunting.
Taking a short but sharp trail to the cliff tops of Verkhoturova Island, we will observe the expanse of seabird colonies up close. From this position we will also have sprawling views which will reveal Tufted Puffins, Brunnich’s Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Pelagic Cormorants. We may even be fortunate enough to see the Harlequin and Steeler’s Eider Ducks here too, as well as Steller Sea Lions flopped lazily upon offshore rock outcrops.
The afternoon, the Kamchatka cruise will see us venturing over to Govena Peninsula, landing in zodiacs at the Koryaksky Reserve on the trail of the Kamchatka Brown Bear. Our landing depends on the location of the bears at this time, as they may be patrolling the shore.
The Koryak and Chukotka Coast is home to a variety of rich wildlife which can be observed over the next few days wherein we will make multiple landings for photographs and up close encounters. In the deep fiords we expect to show you brown bears, mountain sheep, Kamchatka Marmots and red foxes. Moving across to lagoons and bays, there is a plethora of burgeoning birdlife and we can anticipate sightings of the Tundra Bean Goose, Great Knot, Gyrfalcon, Steller’s Eider, Long-tailed Stint, Siberian Accentor and Asian Rosy Finch. We also expect to show you the Kittlitz’s Murrelet.
One of the most exciting parts of our Kamchatka cruise is that, because this land is relatively untouched, there is a chance that we will discover new wildlife colonies as we go! In a 2011 expedition we discovered a previously unknown population of Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and in conjunction with Birdlife international and Birds Russia (who travel with us) we anticipate that we will return to these areas to monitor the colonies’ progress. This is a rare opportunity for photography and birding in a location where only limited tourists have ever known.
This Kamchatka cruise will take you to the epicentre of breeding for the Spoon billed Sandpiper, the village of Meinypil-gyno. This shingle spit extends 40km across the coast and is the most important site for the monitoring and recording of this species. On this occasion, we will be guests of the unique Spoon-billed Sandpiper Recovery Taskforce and will be guided to their nests. Like much of the surrounding area, this location is packed with wildlife and you can also expect to find the Emperor Goose, White-billed Diver, Pacific Diver and Sandhill Crane.
The lagoon also offers sightings of the Largha seal, beluga and grey whales and an abundance of gulls. This region also has a strong cultural presence with a small museum and entertaining amateur dance groups.
Join us today in the search for the Walrus near Cape Navarin as we peruse the coastline teaming with rich marine life. As the walrus is active, it can be difficult to spot him as he moves regularly between locations, however there have been sightings here in the past. Gray whales are also known to congregate in this area as well.
As we advance north of Cape Navarin, Keyngypilgyn Lagoon reveals itself as an excellent location for observing waterfowl and waders such Greater White -fronted Geese, Emperor Geese, Brent Geese, King Eiders, Red Knots, Aleutian Terns and the Whooper Swan.
Our Kamchatka cruise culminates today with a final opportunity to spot Beluga Whales after our last breakfast on the Spirit of Enderby. After disembarking, we offer complimentary transfers to downtown hotels or the airport.
Accommodation onboard of a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel - Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov)
3 daily meals onboard
Airport arrival and departure transfers
All expeditions and shore excursions with professional leaders
Russian visa support documents
*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.
Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips
|June 25 - July 8, 2019
|Limited spaces||US $8,400||contact us||Reserve|
|June 23 - July 6, 2020
|Available||US $8,400||contact us||Reserve|
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